Monthly Archives: February 2014
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Our Deepest Fear
by Marianne Williamson
” Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens most of us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a Child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that others won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconciously give other people permission to do the same. As we liberated from our own fear, our presence automaticall liberate others.”
Back in 1991 we met a lady from Spain and she cooked Paella for us at Easter. A tradition was borned and we have cooked Paella every Easter since then. It has become our way of welcoming Spring to the cold Swedish countryside. We try to cook this outside but this year there was too much snow so we cooked it inside. Taste great both ways.
Note: You can use boneless chicken breast or a whole chicken cut into pieces or chicken wings works just as well. I personally prefer a whole chicken cut into peices with the skin still on it or chicken wings because I think the meat comes out more tender and juicy.
2 Lbs. (1 kg) chicken
1 Lbs. (½ kg) tiger shrimp (jumbo shrimp)
2 Lbs (1 kg) Crawdads (also known as crawfish or crayfish)
1 cup (250 ml) virgin olive oil (add more if needed)
4 bellpeppers (different colors-red, orange, yellow, green)
1 large white onion
1 large red onion
½ Lbs.(250 grams) sweet peas
1 can (400 grams) babycorn
15 grams Rosemary
6 garlic cloves (crushed)
3 cups (750 ml) rice
6 cups (1.5 liters) water
1 vegtable boullion square
1 gram saffron
3 lemons sliced
Take about 2/3 cup (150 ml) virgin olive oil and heat to meduim heat in a large frying pan or Paella pan if you have it.
Add 3 crushed garlic cloves into the olive oil and use about 10 grams of Rosemary to season the chicken with and fry it until done. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add all the veggies (except the sweetpeas) and the 3 remaining crushed garlic cloves and 100 ml virgin olive oil into the pan and cook for about 3-5 minutes. You want the veggies to remain crisp. Remove from pan and set aside.
Now add the rice and stir fry for about 3-5 minuter or until some of the rice turns real white. Then take 1 liter boiling water and add the vegtable boullion square. Add this into the pan of stir fried rice. Next add the saffron and mix well.
Now add the chicken and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ½ liter of water, as needed, as the rice cooks.
After the rice has cooked for 5 minutes add the babycorn. Then add the veggies that you cooked earlier. Now add the shrimp and then the sweetpeas. Next add the crawdads and cook until the rice is tender and ready to eat about 15-20 minutes.
Serve warm with fresh squeezed lemon juice over the paella. Goes great with rosé wine or cold beer.
I met a woman from Spain over 20 years ago. She made the traditional dish from Spain that she learned from her mother. My hubby cut a circle in the grass about 3-4 inches deep and about the size of the pan. He pulled the circle of grass turf off to the side and then dug a hole about 20-24 inches deep and lined the top of the hole with large stones. You have to play with the stones to get the paella pan to be level.
Next we used split logs and started a fire. The wood needs to burn for quite a while to make coals to cook the paella. This way when you are finished with the fire you just refill the whole with the dirt you dug out and pull the grass turf on top of the hole. In just a matter of weeks the area will look undisturbed.
It was delicious. The following Christmas she bought us a Paella pan while on vacation in Spain. We have been making Paella for Easter every year since even if we have to dig in the snow. It marks the beginning of our outdoor cooking for the year. I have over the years changed her recipe and made it my own. My Hubby was not fond of the Octopus nor clams that she put in it. He didn’t like the Shrimp with the Shells on it. He didn’t like picking the Shrimp legs out of his food. I changed the recipe to include shelled tiger shrimp or shelled shrimp that are cooked in Dill.
A couple of years later we were visiting friends in the southern tip of Sweden. I prepared all the ingredients and put them in plastic bags, boiling bouilion water in thermos and packed all the perishables in a cooler. We packed picnic baskets with everything else we needed for our outing. We took off for a drive in land and found a country park that we could swim and picnic. This park had a meandering river. It was an unusually warm. We had our friends Rune, Lily and their two young daughters with us.
The guys had brought fishing poles, but spotted craw-fish off the pier. They ditched the poles and used fishing line tied the middle of a small stick. They could wind up the line on the stick to draw up their catch. They used corn on fish hooks and lied on their bellies on the pier catching craw-fish. I wish you could have seen their excitement and heard their whooping and hollering trying to catch the craw-fish. Our friends two young daughters were bored rather quickly. The guys who were suppose to show them how to catch them, took over the hooks completely. The girls ran and played on the swing set, because the guys didn’t want them splashing in the water and scaring off their catch. I was sitting on my knees making Paella and watching them. I can still see it as I describe it. Unfortunately none of us had a camera with us that day. It was like the guys transformed into the two little boys they once were before my eyes. It is a memory that is forever burned in my mind. It was one of those perfect days.
I was shocked at how many they had caught. I didn’t have a pan to boil them in with us. We didn’t want them to spoil before we went home. I told them put them on top of the Paella to cook them with the rice. I pulled them off and put all the ingredients in the pan and placed them on top. Even the children fell in love with cray-fish in the Paella. It was the finishing touch of my Swedish version of Paella recipe made to perfection.
This Paella recipe can be found under recipes. I will say this I prefer to cook this outdoor rather on a conventional stove top. The food taste better and cooks because of the high temperature from the fire, but it is the camaraderie it creates that is something special. We usually sit around the fire talking and laughing listening to music. I always cook extra so my guest can sample taste the chicken and shrimp as it is cooking as an appetizer. This meal takes time to cook. I guess that is because I usually cook for 20 plus people, when I make it for parties. We usually have some spirits to keep us warm while cooking it for Easter and then we carry it inside to eat. We usually drink Sangria with it as I cook as well as with the meal in the summer. We eat this outside during the summer.
We went shopping in town yesterday and I was so happy to see that we can buy seeds in stores now. We are writing our list of vegetables that we plan to grow this season. We are planning to plant; potatoes, lettuce, spinach, roman lettuce, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, Swiss chard, cucumbers, string beans, pinto beans, peas, sweat peas, tomatoes, bell pepper, Mint, cilantro and rosemary. I need to decide what flowers I want to grow from seed for my hanging baskets and planters.
We plant to grow fewer potatoes this year, because we planted too many last year. I usually barter some with friends and neighbors. We gave away some to the neighbors before they went to seed. I plan to make some chicken pot pies to freeze that takes a nice chunk out of the rest. They are always a huge hit. We will still have some potatoes for ourselves , for seed potatoes for this growing season as well. We are pretty much set.
I plan to still grow sweet peas, but just a few plants in a planter on the patio. I prefer to eat them fresh during the summer. They don’t last long in the freezer. I have had to throw too many in the compost. I think it is sinful to waste food. I want to prevent waste as much as I possibly can. I will probably have to plant the cilantro in the green house as well as the Rosemary, because our summer nights are too cold for them.
We plan to buy seeds next week if everything goes as planned. Then we will have to write out our planting rows and spacing. We need to decide where we are going to transplant the strawberries. We need to put horse manure on the potato box and flower beds very soon as well. We then will start planting in trays and fixing grow lights over them. It is just a conformation that spring will soon be here.
I plan to write my chicken pot pie recipe later. I guess I could take some picture as I make them. I can show how I freeze them.
1 can of tuna
2 Apples peeled, cored and chopped
1 Carrot peeled and shredded
1/3 cup of Raisins
2 chopped boiled eggs
2 Tbs. pickle relish or chopped pickles
3 heaping Tbs. Mayonnaise more if needed
1/2 tsp mustard (optional)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp syrup (optional)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp Garlic salt
pinch of chopped Cilantro or Mint you can use Dried or fresh (optional)
I take one can of tuna and drain the water. I then put it into a medium size bowl and flake it with a fork. I pour all the ingredients into the bowl and mix it. You can eat it on sandwich bread or mix the tuna sallad with cook and cooled macaroni noodles. I hope you like it.
January was cold, stormy and cloudy. Don’t get me wrong I love the snow, but we didn’t have the usual break in the weather between storms. It felt like one long continuous storm. I missed seeing the sun, the moon and stars. I have longed to feel the sun’s warmth kiss my face. Thank God, February has brought with it some sunshine. I even saw the moon trying to peek the clouds last night.
It has been 3-5 Celsius during the day. The snow is melting. We have had some small snow furies here and there. Yesterday I noticed my lilies and daffodils peeking through the flower beds which confirmed what I had felt that spring is on the way. I can’t wait until we can start working in the garden. We will be buying our seeds next week.
I am sorry that I have not been writing. We have just been so busy. I plan to start writing recipes next and about our plans for the garden this year.
We planned and discussed our garden’s successes and failures. We always try to re-evaluate our garden’s progress every year. We decide what we needed to improve on during the winter.
My hubby widened and lengthened the garden. We had more dirt delivered. He was trying to fill in this are between the two beds and this corner of the rock border bed. We made the beds even with each other. Last year the rain water flooded this area. The picture shows that he solved this problem. Dixie is showing you how the rock border is taller and wider at the bottom.
You hopefully can see the rock border bed is a lot bigger than our 2011 garden.
We were pleased with the garden’s progress.
It is time for us to just enjoy the harvest.
Harvesting the fruits of our labors.
We let the broccoli grow until november to see how well it would do in our climate. We are wanting to have a winter garden next year.